Category: Landowner Rights

Letter: Oil and gas setback rule needed to protect Montana homeowners – Billings Gazette, June 28, 2015

June 30, 2015
I sincerely hope that the Montana Board of Oil and Gas will decide to begin rule making on setback requirements, as it was asked to do on June 24. Setback requirements restrict oil and gas wells from being placed too close to residences or water sources, in order to strike an equitable balance between development and landowner protections. Currently, Montana has no setback requirements on private land. In contrast, our neighboring states of Wyoming, North Dakota and Colorado...
Categories: Landowner RightsLegislatureNewsOil and gas


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Board urged to adopt buffers between homes, oil drilling – Associated Press, June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015
By Matthew Brown Farmers and environmentalists urged Montana regulators on Wednesday to establish buffer zones around homes to protect them from oil and gas drilling. But energy industry representatives say such a move isn’t needed and would put large areas of the state off-limits to development. North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado require companies to keep drilling activities at least 500 feet from occupied dwellings. Montana has no such rule. Linda Nelson, who chairs the state Board of Oil...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterFossil FuelsLandowner RightsLegislatureNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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Press release: Special session held on setback requirements at Board of Oil and Gas Conservation – June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015
By Northern Plains Resource Council BILLINGS, Mont. -- Today, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation held a special session to hear public comments on oil and gas setbacks. The Board is weighing the merits of beginning rulemaking on setback requirements for Montana. At the meeting in Billings, Montana landowners debated the need for setback requirements with oil and gas industry representatives. Landowners argue setbacks establish an equitable balance between landowner rights oil and gas development, ensuring development is done right....
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterFossil FuelsLandowner RightsLegislatureNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Press release: Congress passes bad Fast Track to the President – June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015
By Northern Plains Resource Council BILLINGS, Mont.- Today, the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to give President Obama Fast Track Authority, the final vote needed to send the measure to the President’s desk. This bill will give the president the authority to sign pending trade agreements with no congressional input, just an up-or-down vote. Currently, three controversial trade deals are being negotiated between the United States and Pacific Rim nations, European countries, and a combination of the two.  The language...
Categories: AgricultureCongressNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Pope Francis, in sweeping encyclical, calls for swift action on climate change – New York Times, June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015
By Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action. The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which...
Categories: Climate changeNews


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Helena citizens sound off on Tongue River Railroad – Helena Independent Record, June 17, 2015

June 17, 2015
By Tom Kuglin Opponents to the proposed Tongue River Railroad held a “citizens hearing” in Helena Tuesday evening to encourage public comment to the federal Surface Transportation Board ahead of an Aug. 24 deadline. The 42-mile rail line would carry coal from the proposed Otter Creek mine to U.S. markets and to West Coast ports for shipping overseas. Arch Coal bought rights to the mine and would co-own the railroad with BNSF Railway Co., and Burlington Northern Sante...
Categories: CoalEventsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Guest opinion: Make your voice heard on coal transportation across Montana – Helena Independent Record, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015
By Michael Lee and Roxa Reller The Surface Transportation Board recently issued its Environmental Impact Statement for the Tongue River Railroad. The TRR would transport Arch Coal’s Otter Creek Mine coal to the Pacific Coast for export to Asia. Because the TRR and Arch Coal’s mine would duplicate existing rail and mine capacity in the Powder River Basin, and would irreversibly harm the environment, they are not necessary. The TRR should not be permitted. A fatal flaw in...
Categories: CoalLandowner RightsNews


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Guest opinion: Reclamation lags in Montana, Wyoming coal country – Billings Gazette, June 14, 2015

June 15, 2015
By Steve Charter In 1973, my mother and other Montana ranchers traveled to Washington, D.C., to make the case for a strong reclamation law that would protect our lands and livelihoods from being ravaged by coal strip mining. It took years but, in 1977, the law that we helped shape finally passed. The federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act represented a landmark in holding a powerful industry accountable and preventing long-term damage that has historically marked the...
Categories: CoalCongressNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Tribal members, ranchers tell regulators to spike Tongue River railroad project – Billings Gazette, June 9, 2015

June 9, 2015
By Derek Brouwer Those who would be neighbors of what could become the country’s largest coal mine near Ashland gave an earful Monday to federal regulators who are reviewing plans for the railroad tied to it. Ranchers and Northern Cheyenne tribal members spoke out against the proposed Tongue River Railroad during the first of five days of public hearings, saying the line would trample their land and questioning the environmental analysis completed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board....
Categories: CoalLandowner RightsNews


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New report: Coal industry’s financial woes threaten to shift billions in clean-up costs to U.S. taxpayers – June 9, 2015

June 9, 2015
Report highlights lagging reclamation on Western coal mines By the Western Organization of Resource Councils BOZEMAN, Mont. (June 9, 2015) – As the financial pressures on the coal industry mount, a new $3 billion threat to taxpayers is emerging in the form of self-insured coal companies potentially walking away from reclamation obligations, leaving the public holding the bag on costs for restoring large swaths of Western lands scarred by mining. According to a new report released today by...
Categories: CoalCongressNews


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NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154
info@northernplains.org